In the latest round of matches in the West Lancs and Sefton Junior Bowls League the hot favourites for the title, Botanic Bandits, who boast five Lancashire players in their ranks, had a tough home tie against the current league leaders, the Windmill Destroyers.
In the singles matches there was a titanic struggle between two Lancashire players, Fergal Wright (Botanic) and Matthew Gill (Windmill).
Fergal took an early lead but Matthew gradually pegged him back. Superb bowling from both players drew some gasps from the crowd and it was Matthew who eventually prevailed 21-16.
In the other three singles matches the Bandits (Matty Greenwood, Jamie Sumner and Adam Wood) came out on top, although Matty Greenwood only just won 21-18 and was given a scare by Natasha Hauley, who has been giving some impressive performances so far this season for the Destroyers.
In the pairs games the spoils were shared. The first game saw Kyle Dawes and Connor Peake play very well to beat Natasha Hauley and Emma Gill 21-11, with Connor playing some very good bowls in only his second match.
The final match on the green was another close and tense affair with Luke Dawes and Harvey Wright taking on Matthew Gill and young Joe Sumner. This proved to be an enthralling game with the players having to shake hands on all-but across.
In the final end, with the Destroyers lying in, Joe put a bobby in the way with his last bowl, which Luke could only hit to allow the Destroyers to take the final game. However, the Botanic, with four winners to the Windmill's two, took the match overall.
Earlier in the season, in the second set of matches in the junior bowls league, the Windmill Destroyers had beaten an inexperienced Scarisbrick Saracens on the Windmill green by five matches to one to go top of the league.
Star of the show for the Windmill was young Joe Sumner, who had a fine 21-10 win in his debut match. Seb Hughes also managed a win in his first singles match for the Destroyers, with Ryan Maughan being the other Windmill winner. James Catton replied for the Saracens take their only victory.
In the pairs games Joe Sumner partnered Jack Denning to beat Aiden Riley and Ben Potter 21-11, and in the other game Matthew Gill and Emma Denning wrapped up the points with a 21-9 victory.
In the other match Burscough Warriors were also having to field a very new young side against a strong Formby Sports and Social Club team. However, Alicia Gregson wasn't going to roll over and fought her way to a great 21-14 win over Phil Rawlins and Elisa Mills who was making her debut beat Jazmin Jones 21-18.
It was all square going into the pairs though as Luke Sinnott and Anthony Lewin fought back for Formby. Experience told in the pairs where both Formby pairs won to take the match.
This season is seeing the Burscough team and Scarisbrick team from Southport having to rebuild after several players have had to move on after going over the 16 age limit. If any young people between the ages of 8 and 16 fancy trying crown green bowls please contact Ian Gill on 01695 227 127 for details, as sessions will be run in your area you will be made very welcome - it is a great sport for all ages and local teams are now in need of new players. Details can also be found at httpwww.ormskirkjuniorbowls.btck.co.uk